UNCDF in Niger

UNCDF in Niger

The Challenge

Niger endured austere military rule for much of its post-independence history and remains today one of the world's least-developed nations. Prone to drought, the country sometimes struggles to feed its population. Niger’s main export, uranium, is vulnerable to price fluctuations and agriculture is threatened by the encroaching desert. While on oil exploration and gold mining have the potential to boost Niger’s fortunes, food insecurity is the recurrent bottleneck and the country ranks last out of 187 countries in in the 2013 Human Development Index.

How We Are Helping?

UNCDF is helping Niger to address its development challenges through several projects combining inclusive finance and local development.

The “Projet Appui au Développement Economique Local (PADEL II)” Programme aims at ensuring that people of the Maradi region have access to public and financial services to promote local economic development and to improve food security, lowering the incidence of weld and reducing malnutrition. The project is jointly supported by UNCDF, UNDP, the Government of Niger and the Belgian Fund for Food Security (BFFS).

The Local Cross-Border Initiative (LOBI) programme, which, by nature, covers several countries in the region, aims at strengthening cross-border governance in the West Africa region through the definition of regional and national strategies and the promotion of pilot cross-border local development processes.

UNCDF is also setting up the diagnostic tool Locally Owned Knowledge = Inclusive Growth (LoOKING). This tool helps to assess the functioning of the local authorities in Niger and to assist them in finding appropriate solutions regarding their management and governance.

UNCDF plans to expand its YouthStart programme in Niger. YouthStart and it aims at increasing access to financial services for low-income youth in sub-Saharan Africa.

In Detail

Project

Projet Appui au Développement Economique Local (PADEL II): Programme d’Appui au Développement de la Microfinance (PADMIF) + Développement local et Sécurlté Állmentaire (DELSA)

Goal To support local economic development and reduce food insecurity.
How

PADEL consists of two sub-programmes which aim at promoting local economic development in the Maradi region reducing food insecurity and the vulnerability of target groups by:

  • Strengthening capacities of local authorities and microfinance institutions;
  • Improving access to financial services;
  • Financing the construction of basic infrastructure through the local development fund (LDF);
  • Supporting food security initiatives.
Period 2010-2015
Partners UNCDF, UNDP, Government of Niger, EU, Belgian Fund for Food Security (BFFS).
Total project cost and UNCDF contribution USD 17,522,111
USD 3,500,000
Project

Local Cross-Border Initiative

Goal To strengthen cross-border governance in the West African region through the definition of regional and national strategies and the promotion of pilot cross-border local development processes.
How

LOBI supports the definition of cross-border strategies and the piloting of cross-border local development processes to improve the economic stability and human security in the regions, by

  • Supporting the promotion of the cross-border governance, including the definition of a Regional Strategy about cross-border issues;
  • Piloting a cross-border local development fund (LDF) to increase investments and support innovations in local economic development, gender and food security; as well as to contribute to the provision of basic services to cross-border communities;
  • Piloting the local development process for cross border areas: setting up a cross border planning and budgeting process (Local Development Plan, LDP), including clear procurement procedures and performance-based grant system for local governments.
Period 2012-2017
Partners UNCDF, Government of Luxembourg, UEMOA
Total project cost and UNCDF contribution USD 11,770,000
USD
Project

Locally Owned Knowledge = Inclusive Growth (LoOKING)

Goal Improve the functioning of the local government and the quality of local services
How

The Locally Owned Knowledge = Inclusive Growth (LoOKING) diagnostic tool was developed by the UNCDF’s local development technicians. It is a process as well as a tool that assesses the way that local authorities function and helps them find appropriate solutions for management and governance challenges. Using diagnostics and analysis, LoOKING identifies both inefficiencies and economic, financial, and organizational potential in local entities.

Period ONGOING
Partners  
Total project cost and UNCDF contribution 1,500,000
1,500,000
Project

YouthStart

Goal Create valuable economic opportunities for youth and boosting youth entrepreneurship is a precondition for sustainable development in Niger
How

Access to financial services —whether they involve a safe place to save, an account to receive cash transfers from welfare government programmes or an appropriately structured loan for investment in an enterprise or education— coupled with non-financial services – entrepreneurship training, financial literacy, mentorship and internship opportunities —can help youth to build financial, social (e.g. social networks, group memberships) and human (e.g. skills and knowledge, self-esteem, ability to work) assets. As a growing body of evidence shows, asset ownership may not only help developing countries fill an important gap in terms of youth employment, but can also help them accelerate other development outcomes .

Period Global programme -2014 with expected expansion 2015-2019
Partners The MasterCard Foundation
Total project cost and UNCDF contribution 3,000,000
USD

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